For a sixth straight night, thousands of people in Budapest took to the streets to protest Prime Minister Viktor Orban and his Fidesz party.
Several thousand people demonstrated outside the headquarters of Hungary’s state-run TV MTVA, chanting anti-government slogans and shouting “We’ve had enough,” pictures from the scene showed Monday.
Protesters have been angry about what they call a “slave law,” new legislation allowing employers to ask workers to take on up to 400 hours of overtime a year.
The demonstrations began last Wednesday, after Hungary’s Parliament passed legislation pushed through by Fidesz.
The government told CNN the “voluntary changes to working hours” were “in the interest of the workers” and would allow people to work and earn more.
Hungarian law previously permitted businesses to demand up to 250 hours overtime annually.
Parliament also passed a second controversial law Wednesday that will create a new system of courts in the country. They will be overseen by the justice minister and handle cases concerning “government business,” such as tax and elections, Reuters reported.
The government said the new courts, which are set to begin operating next year, will be independent and “in line with current European approaches and standards.”
But with Orban’s justice minister expected to oversee the hiring of judges, rights groups warned the move will take the country further down the path to authoritarianism.
Since Orban’s populist Fidesz party swept into power in 2010, and most recently won a landslide victory in April this year, it has come under increasing fire from the European Union over its crackdowns on democratic institutions.
Earlier this year, the European Parliament took the unprecedented decision to trigger Article 7 – a disciplinary process – against Hungary, a rarely invoked process designed to prevent member states from breaching the EU’s “core values.”
Journalist Andrea Keleti in Budapest contributed to this report.